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Face

“Nothing is more fascinating than a human face…It is no mistake that the world's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, is of an elusive and compelling human face. Even so, not one face painted…is greater than the human faces you will see in the coming week… look at each face with the reverence due to one made in the image and likeness of God…In Christ, all are one, all of creation. This unity includes each human face we see, and so each face has the potential, when we remember this deep truth, to bring gladness.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)


“The face of Christ is the human face of God. The Holy Spirit rests on him and reveals to us absolute Beauty, a divine-human Beauty, that no art can ever properly and fully make visible. Only the icon can suggest such Beauty by means of the taboric [Mt. Tabor, the site of Christ’s Transfiguration] light.” (Paul Evdokimov)


“It should be of note that the Holy Icons are always depicted facing us, with some few, turned ever so slightly. Those “turned” faces are found on icons whose placement would have originally been on an iconostasis and are slightly turned so as to be acknowledging the Christ icon. The only figures portrayed in profile are Judas Iscariot and the demons (or those who are fulfilling those roles). In the art of the Renaissance, and subsequent, this treatment of the face disappears. The human figure is simply studied for itself, as art, the relational function of the icon having been forgotten.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“Identification begins as a visual process, but quickly becomes an internal imagery process, encompassing visual, auditory, and kinesthetic scenes. It is that universal scene of communion between mother and infant, accomplished through facial gazing in the midst of holding and rocking during breast or bottle feedings, that creates the infant’s sense of oceanic oneness or union…Developmental psychologists say that the face-to-face gazing of mother and child in the act of nursing is an essential building block in the development of personality and the ability to relate to others.” (Gershen Kaufman, Father Stephen Freeman)


“Our experience of the face is an experience of nakedness and vulnerability. On the positive side, the result is identification, communion and oneness. On the negative side, it is the pain of shame and the felt need to hide. I can think of nothing else in nature that so closely parallels and reveals the fundamental character of our relationship with God. Salvation is communion. Sin is an enduring shame…For indeed there are faces full of spiritual grace, lovely to behold for those who desire them and commanding respect from enemies who hate them.” (Father Stephen Freeman, St. John Chrysostom)


“Prosopon, the Greek word for person, actually means “face.” It is deeply significant that no one, without a mirror, can see his or her own face—my face may only be seen by another. Without relationship, then, our own faces are hidden, even to ourselves, like flowers in the dark…We find our most true face, our own personhood—our own prosopon—revealed.” (Douglas Cramer)

“With the face, and its implications for personhood, much more can be said. I cannot see the face of another without looking at them. To see your face, I must reveal my face. That face-to-face encounter is pretty much the deepest and oldest experience we have as human beings (first experienced with our mother in nursing). For the whole of our lives, our faces are the primary points of experience and reaction. We cannot truly know the other without encountering them face-to-face.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Many who talk about love and unity are themselves not united with God, because they have not loved Him, nor do they have true love. He who has true love is he who also has upright faith, who lives close to God. For it is then that God is reflected in his face, and others can see God Himself in his face.” (Papa Demetri)

"In the Garden of Eden, we sinned and lost the face of God. This was the greatest disaster possible, because we were designed to live in the unique, perfect, marvelous light of His countenance.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"Only Light can truly comprehend darkness. The more the artist beholds the nature of God, the more he comes to know himself. It is the face of Christ that reveals his true nature and opens his heart to compassion.” (Jonathan Jackson)

“In both Latin and Greek, the word translated as “person,” actually refers to the face, or a mask (as a depiction of the face). The face is not only our primary presentation to the world, and our primary means of relationship, it is also, somehow, that which is most definitively identified with our existence as persons.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The self resides in the face.” (Sylvan Tompkins)

“The more we rely on technology, texting, social media, and even the phone as our primary means of communicating with and relating to each other, the more we risk diminishing our personhood. There is something simple, holy, and communal simply experiencing each other face to face.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

#PastorTimothyKeller #JonathanJackson #FatherStephenFreeman #SylvanTompkins #SacramentalLivingMinistries #DouglasCramer #PapaDemetri #RevChristopherHMartin #PaulEvdokimov #GershenKaufman #StJohnChrysostom

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